Bogleech.com's 2018 Horror Write-off:
Submitted by Eden Kurova (email)
The maze itself was a mystery. Who built it? It must have been ancient. The maze was made of crumbling tan marble, draped in a blanket of vines and leaves that twisted and turned forming random patterns all over the maze walls. Helvetica stopped to rest. She looked up at the sky. The sky was milky white, dappled with fluffy clouds which were a gradient of blue, teal and a burnt orange color. It seemed as though the earth and sky had disagreed about what time it was. The sky, as odd as it looked, looked like daytime. But the strange lighting of everything in the maze suggested dusk. It was always like this, or as far as Helvetica could remember. There was no sun nor moon in sight, the position of the light never changed; the sky was day, the Earth was dusk.
"This strange place could only be in a dream," Helvetica thought. Describing the disturbing beauty of it all would be like telling someone your dream: only the person who experienced it could really understand. But was that really all it was? Helvetica stopped her short break and continued running. She had no plans for how to exit the maze, she just impulsively went towards whatever path was in front of her. She had been walking in circles for what could have been minutes, hours maybe even days. In this world, time was fickle. Helvetica had been in a trance ever since she found herself here. She didn't panic, her mind was blank, only occasionally would she think anything, and that was to keep running, and to assume that this was dream.
Oh, if only it had been so simple.
Chapter 1: Twilight
The maze was silent. Helvetica's feet pounding against the ground made no noise at all. All Helvetica could hear were her own random thoughts.
Then, suddenly, a loud noise broke the silence.
Helvetica woke up from her trance. She stopped running and actually started actively thinking. She looked around, trying to find out where the sound came from.
"An animal?" Helvetica wondered. "An animal's cry, like a rabbit's before it is killed." She shuddered. "This dream is creepy. And now I'm in deep enough sleep to start thinking and reasoning, too... oh, why can't I just wake up already?” She gently shifted her shoe against the ground. The dry, light brown dirt made a tiny dust storm around her foot as she disturbed it. "It feels real." said Helvetica softly. "What an amazing dream."
She heard the scream once more.
Helvetica hesitated to find out what it was, for fear it was something scary. She pinched herself and sighed. "Haha! Stupid me! This is a DREAM! Ah, man, to think that I almost got scared for a second. There's nothing to be afraid of! Maybe if I do get scared I'll just wake up sooner and it'll all be over!" She smiled, and a look of confidence emerged. She marched towards the direction of the screams. She continued to walk and discovered a small tunnel within the maze. The walls of the tunnel appeared to be woven from strips of wood, covered in ivy.
Helvetica smiled once again. "Finally, something besides dirt and walls!" she thought to herself. She fearlessly went inside the small shady canopy. She felt exhausted suddenly, and sat down to catch her breath. "What a realistic dream..." she whispered to herself. The screams continued, louder and louder. Suddenly something ran into the tunnel at full speed, ramming into Helvetica and taking her by surprise. Helvetica jumped back. She opened her eyes, and stared at the creature in front of her. Both of them were speechless. Helvetica couldn’t help but stare, totally immersed in it’s beauty.
This creature was a human, a small, slender one. Her build seemed somewhat boyish but delicate, which was odd. But Helvetica wouldn't bother questioning the gender of someone who wasn't even real. She appeared to be the same age as Helvetica: 11. Her pale skin had freckles that looked like flecks of color in an opal, her eyes two different colors, the left eye was a dusty rose, the right was the color of a luna moth's wings, or the pale green patina seen on copper. Her pupils were unlike that of a human. They were black circular outlines filled in with a color a shade darker than the iris. Her hair was long, pale and opalescent, not really any one color. It was tied back with a large, black ribbon. Her bangs draped over her forehead slightly covering her left eye, giving the impression that she was shy. Such a beautiful person, and there she was cowering in front of Helvetica.
Neither Helvetica nor this strange dream-like girl talked. Helvetica suddenly had the urge to pet her head, as if she were a lamb at a petting zoo. Her hand trembled as she reached out to pet the girl, but before her hand touched her, the girl began to cry. Helvetica was once again startled.
"Oh, um, I'm sorry." she stammered. "Is something wrong?"
The girl wiped her tears and spoke, her voice flustered in panic. "Th-they're- we- we have to hide! They're after me! Please, we have to go!" Her voice sounded more like a boy's. If this person was a boy, Helvetica wondered why her subconscious would conjure up such a bizarre one.
"Who are you? What do you mean, 'they'? " she asked. Helvetica was surprised that her dream was this consistent, yet at the same time it wasn't. Helvetica felt as though she could only control her actions some of the time, which is common in the dream world. She was relieved to be in control now.
"I'm Twilight, more often than not." said Twilight, in a quivering whisper. "And 'they' are the VIXI.... but there isn't enough time!"
“What are VIXI?“ asked Helvetica.
Twilight ignored her and grabbed Helvetica's hand. Together they ran, but Helvetica had no idea where they were going. They ran and ran until they stopped to hide between a large crack in one of the maze walls.
“What’s a VIXI!?” asked Helvetica again.
"Well..." Twilight trailed off into more whimpering.
"Behind you..." Twilight pointed with a trembling finger. Helvetica turned around, her face suddenly as frightened as Twilight's.
"So… that's what 'they' are, huh?" she said in an awed whisper.
Twilight nodded his head emphatically.
They stood in front of the hideous creature, nearly frightened to death.
"Oh my God.”
Chapter 2: VIXI
This Monster... even for a dream, it was scary. It was big enough for both them to ride on. It's coarse, bristly fur was dark brown. It had the body and neck of a horse. It had long, stilt like legs, making it very tall. It's head was like a donkey/goat/wolf hybrid, it's eyes gold and beautiful like a sheep. The creature's ears were long like a rabbit's. It's mouth grimaced across it's long muzzle, and behind it's red-black lips were several rows of sharp, pointed teeth, all the same size, like a great white shark's. Three of it's feet were large cloven hooves, but it's right hind leg looked like a paw. It's tail was long and hairless like a rat's, and on it's back were two, large, bat-like wings that were tattered and scarred. From the VIXI's horse-like nose blew puffs of black smoke with every breath.
"Here I am, Twilight." the VIXI's voice was distressingly human yet inhuman, like some sort of electronically distorted voice. The monster grinned. "Are you ready?"
Twilight hid behind Helvetica. "What good is that going to do?!" she thought. She was panicking, forgetting her "just a dream, no need to be scared" theory earlier. She was about to run, but realized that she was cornered. "W-when did that happen?!" She cried. "Have the walls been changing shape?!"
Twilight shivered and continued to hide behind Helvetica. He crouched down to look as small as possible and hugged her legs.
The VIXI laughed. "You can't run away forever, Twilight. Go ahead, cower all you want. It only excites me more!”The monster's eyes widened, it opened it's huge, gaping mouth, and unrolled two, long forked tongues. Twilight and Helvetica screamed. Helvetica stopped screaming. She couldn't control her body now. She lifted an arm up and then moved her legs, disentangling Twilight from them. She walked towards the hideous VIXI. Her raised hand glowed. How? A perplexing look of both anger and surprise crossed her face. The VIXI immediately closed it's mouth, sucking in it's tongues, and cautiously backed away. "W-what are you doing?! Stop!" the VIXI demanded.
Helvetica began to run. The VIXI continued to back away, faster, faster.
Helvetica's glowing hand touched the creature's velvety nose. Her hand was engulfed in the smoke from it's breath. The creature's eyes widened, not in excitement, but in fear. It lifted it's wings to try to fly away, but it couldn't. It's angry gold eyes faded to a pale sky blue, and the creature began to struggle as though something was strangling it. Helvetica could not control herself. She began to laugh. The creature suddenly screamed in agony, and slowly collapsed into a pile of gooey blood, which quickly faded away. Twilight looked on in shock and pity.
Once the VIXI had completely vanished, Helvetica could control herself again. "W-wow." said Helvetica slowly. "Wow. Wow! I-Im kind of freaked out, I mean, this is one crazy dream! But- did you SEE that?! Oh, Twilight, we're safe!" She laughed in relief, but it quickly died off. She turned to look at Twilight, but he was gone. She stopped and stared at the empty space where Twilight was a moment ago. The maze's walls were back to how they were before, and Helvetica was no longer cornered, but wedged between a large crack. Disappointed, Helvetica sighed.
"Twilight...? Twilight! Twiiiiiilight!" she called. No reply. Suddenly Helvetica felt exhausted again, curled up and fell into a deep sleep. But can one really sleep in a dream?
Chapter 3: Guard.
Helvetica woke up. She was in her bed, in her room. There was no maze, no Twilight, no VIXI. She looked at her clock. 7:48 AM. She looked out her window. The sky was blue, the clouds were white. She stood up, got dressed and headed downstairs. Her mom was making pancakes, her little sister was helping. "When will Helve wake up?" her sister asked her mom.
"I'm right here, silly. Good morning!" said Helvetica to her sister.
Her sister didn't respond, nor did she notice Helvetica's presence.
"Mom!" whispered her sister, tugging on her mother's apron. "I think Helvetica is dreaming again!" Her mother turned around and looked at Helvetica. She grinned, revealing several sets of VIXI-like teeth.
Helvetica gasped. "M-mom!" She cried. "What's going on? I'm awake! Y-your teeth...!"
The mother and sister began laughing, and their voices sounded just like the VIXI's.
Then she opened her eyes.
"What a scary dream." thought Helvetica. She felt relieved to have woken up, but that relief didn't last long. She rubbed her eyes and looked around the room. She gasped. This wasn't her room! It was very dark, and there were no windows or doors. Cracks, tape, stains, and mold littered the off-white walls. The floor was wooden and splintery, with rusted nails sticking out in places. Nothing was in the room but a small bed, an unlit light bulb on the ceiling, and a painting of a black & white domestic cat. The mold on the walls gave off a faint phosphorescent glow.
Helvetica shivered. The room was cold, dark and scary. And worst of all, Helvetica couldn't remember what her room was supposed to look like anymore, she just knew that this wasn't right. She rubbed her forehead. "Why can't I remember my room?" she asked herself. She decided that this must be yet another dream. She looked down. Next to her in the small bed was Twilight, huddled up in blankets, looking nervous even at rest. She covered her mouth in embarrassment. Even if she assumed Twilight wasn't real, it still felt really weird to sleep next to a boy, regardless of how un-boyish he may be. She shook him awake. "Twilight!" she whispered.
Twilight opened his eyes.
As soon as he saw her he jumped of of the bed and fell at her feet. "W-what are you doing here?!" he cried.
Helvetica sighed in frustration. "That's what I'd like to know! Look, I guess I'm dreaming, and at first it was cool, but now I'm getting pretty sick of it! This place is creepy and weird, and this dream has lasted way too long!"
Twilight rolled over. "Please don't hurt me!" he sobbed.
"Now why would I do that?" demanded Helvetica.
"If you are strong enough to kill that VIXI then you’re an even bigger threat!" Twilight whimpered.
Helvetica felt a little embarrassed for Twilight, it felt odd to see a boy her age so frightened. "I won't hurt you. When I killed that VIXI or whatever it was, I couldn't control myself. If it wasn't for my body moving by itself, I probably would've been like you. Please don't be scared of me." She reached out a hand to the timid boy.
Twilight hesitated, but cautiously he shook her hand. He looked up at her, then stood.
"So..." Helvetica's voice trailed off. “In the mean time, since there doesn't seem to be a way to wake myself up... would you like me to protect you? I just pray that I'll be able to do that thing again..."
Twilights eyes lit up. "R-really?"
"Yeah, sure." replied Helvetica. Without thinking, she hugged him. Twilight clearly felt uncomfortable about being touched. "But Twilight-" Helvetica continued. "You must in return tell me why these VIXI things want you. And remember that I won't be here forever, I'll wake up eventually... I hope."
Twilight nodded. "Oh... sure." He signaled for her to sit on the bed.
Chapter 4: Twilight and the VIXI
"I don't know much." Twilight began.“About my past, or much of why any of this… is. I have been trying to find out more, but all I know is what I’ve heard the VIXI say. This is all I have found out." Helvetica hoped that she wouldn't wake up during Twilight's story. She really wanted to know.
"With VIXIs,” Twilight continued. "Normally they don't exactly die. When a VIXI dies it is re-incarnated three days later that same month. Then if the VIXI dies again, it is re-incarnated 4 days later that same month. Then if it dies again it is re-incarnated 5 days later that same month, etc."
Helvetica nodded. "So for every time it is re-incarnated, the chances of it reviving each time become slimmer, because each time another day is added."
"Yeah." said Twilight.
"But what if the VIXI or whatever dies at like, the end of the month when there are no days left for it to re-incarnate?" asked Helvetica.
"Then..." said Twilight. "Then it is permanently dead. It will never re-incarnate. So towards the end of the month there often isn't as much VIXI activity because they're afraid of death.” His odd eyes glowed in the dark, dreary room.
"Wow." Helvetica was fascinated by the power of this dream.
"Maybe I was a VIXI once. I know it's weird, but I don't remember anything at all. I don't know why they want me."
"So YOU are a VIXI? Same as the one that attacked us?" asked Helvetica in disbelief.
"VIXI vary in appearance, but most are along the lines of the one we saw. Like I said before, I never remembered being a VIXI either but then what else could I be? Since the beginning, there has been nothing else here but me and the VIXI." Twilight had a melancholy look on his face, perhaps he didn't believe those last words.
"Wow.... I mean, I have so many questions I don't know where to begin..." Helvetica felt sad too for some reason.
"It's alright, I probably don't know the answers to most them, anyway." he sighed.
Chapter 5: Beluga
Twilight and Helvetica sat silently on the bed, staring at the ground. It felt as though talking was a taboo, as if something would find them if there was any noise. Since there were no visible doors or windows in the room, leaving wasn't an option. Twilight fidgeted nervously with his fingers. Helvetica was finally getting bored, and wondered again when she would wake up. Helvetica stroked the mattress absent mindedly and as soon as she did something unexpected happened. The bed began to purr! The mattress, which earlier was stiff and springy- relaxed, and felt more like a living waterbed. Twilight panicked and jumped up, he stood back and eyed the bed cautiously. Helvetica was surprised, but not scared. She continued to pet the mattress; and the purring became louder.
"Ahhh... that really hits the spot." said a voice coming from the bed. It was a deep, raspy voice, the voice of an old man.
Twilight shivered at the sound of the voice. Helvetica giggled, but in a strange way. "You... you are the cat in that picture, aren't you?" she asked the bed.
"Darn right I am! My name's Beluga, and I came here long, long ago. I was owned by a nice family back in the other world, but next thing you know, I appeared in some maze, and then fell asleep. When I woke up I became this room! My bones are in that mattress, go figure, so that's where I'm the most sensitive. It felt so good to be stroked by a human again! You have no idea how lonely this new life has been.” Beluga's upbeat tone seemed somewhat out of place in this situation.
Twilight began to sense that Beluga was harmless, and walked back up to the bed and stroked it. Beluga responded with lots of purring and happy meows.
"But why, Beluga?" Asked Twilight. "Why do you sound so content?"
"I'm not." replied Beluga. "Like I said, I've been so bored and lonely. I'm just so happy you’ve found me!”
Helvetica continued to pet the mattress. "Ok, this is truly weird. It’s been nice, Beluga, and I hate to say this, but… is there any way we can get out of here? I'm sorry...”
"W-why leave?" replied Beluga, still trying and failing to sound upbeat. "I mean, it's probably awful out there. Why not stay and we can keep each other company?"
Twilight looked at Helvetica pleadingly. Helvetica frowned.
"I-I'm sorry, Beluga, but I need to wake up. Maybe I will if I find a way out of this room.”
Twilight jumped at the threat of her leaving him. He realized that if they were to leave the room, not only would he be exposed to more VIXI, but Helvetica might 'wake up' and then she would no longer be there to protect him. He spoke up. “Helvetica, how do you know that’ll happen?”
Helvetica sighed. "I-" she paused. She began to lose control of her actions again. "Twilight and I need to leave this room." She began to move without thinking. She ripped open the mattress with her bare hands, revealing that it was full of bones and fur just as Beluga had said. He hissed and spat at her. "What are you doing, Helvetica?! That hurts! You're supposed to pet me!"
Twilight looked on in horror.
With a cruel grin on her face, she threw the black & white cat fur and bones into the air and scattered them around the room, ripping the entire bed into pieces. The light bulb on the ceiling finally flickered on, getting brighter and brighter until it burst and scattered glass everywhere. "What's going on?!" cried Beluga. "I thought you were my friend!" Beluga continued to hiss and scream.
Helvetica leapt onto the furry pile and broke the bones apart, fur caught between her teeth. Her eyes were wide and wild. The painting on the wall shook, then fell and the frame shattered. Black wings slowly appeared on the painted cat's back.
"Oh..." said Beluga sadly and calmly. "You are freeing me. I see. Thank you."
Beluga didn't talk anymore. Helvetica's hands glowed strangely, and all of the fur and bones from the mattress faded away. The remains of the bed transformed into a pile of black feathers, and a door and windows appeared. The glow on Helvetica's hands faded away and she had control of her body once again. She picked up the painting and stared blankly at the winged cat. Written in red ink, below the painting read:
In Loving Memory of our Cat, Beluga
Thank You, Helvetica.
She was moved by those words. Was Beluga finally free? Why had this happened to him in the first place? This was an odd dream, indeed.
Chapter 6: Beyond the Door
Helvetica dried her tears and ran towards the door, but Twilight leapt in front of it to stop her. "Helvetica, please!" He cried. "Please don't wake up! Please, don't open that door!" Helvetica stared into his mysterious eyes.
"Twilight, it will be OK." She assured him. However, neither of them were certain of that at all.
Twilight was too timid to argue, but he closely followed her through the door. This realm was clearly unpredictable, so they braced themselves for anything. Beyond the door was a small hallway, with stained and cracked walls and rickety floorboards, similar to the last one. They continued through the hallway and entered a dining room. The dining room was also dark, with more cracked, stained, off-white walls. There was a shelf and dining-room table, which were crowded by all sorts of random objects- papers, dishes, toys, pens, glasses, etc. There were two dirty, tattered rugs. It looked as though someone was living there, yet whatever presence they felt didn’t feel like anything alive. The dining room entered into what looked like a kitchen. The other side led to another hallway, and a door. What few windows there were were covered up with boards. Yet the strange darkness and shadows looked more like a still black fog than a lack of light. It was the kind of house that would be terrifying to be alone in.
Helvetica continued walking, wishing that she would wake up soon. She was not a fan of haunted houses. She pinched her shoulder, but nothing happened. She made a frustrated groan which broke the silence of the room, startling poor Twilight. Helvetica began to feel as if the house was another maze; they wandered through one room after another only to find themselves back where they started.
As Helvetica and Twilight re-entered Beluga's room for what felt like the hundredth time, a sudden noise ended the repetition.
Twilight flinched, but calmed himself. "Was that you getting mad again?"
Helvetica shuddered. "N-no."
The noise sounded like a growl. It became louder and louder. Twilight squeezed Helvetica's hand. Helvetica felt a shiver down her spine. "VIXI, right?"
"Yes." replied Twilight, who could barely speak.
They instinctively tried locking the only door in Beluga's room.
"It's no use...." The VIXI cackled. "You can't lock me out if I'm already in!"
Twilight and Helvetica looked all around the room for the VIXI. Twilight spotted it. "The ceiling!" He cried.
Helvetica looked up. The large monster, some how, was clinging to the ceiling, upside-down like a spider. It barely resembled the first VIXI. This one had 6 legs, and all of it's feet were thin, three-toed and clawed like a bird's. It's long ears hung down like a goat's, and it's eight green eyes resembled a cat's. The hideous creature laughed. It's distorted voice sounded slightly more feminine than the previous one. "Hello, Twilight. I see you have a companion." She glared at Helvetica. "It's amazing... you were so beautiful before, but now you look even MORE so next to that ugly thing." She laughed and pointed one of her 6 legs at Helvetica.
With pale skin, brown hair and dark eyes, It was true that Helvetica was rather plain, and being with the strangely beautiful Twilight only made it seem more so, but that didn’t mean that she was ugly. Helvetica was annoyed by the VIXI's remark.
"I'm no where NEAR as ugly as you are." she murmured under her breath.
Twilight hid behind Helvetica and cried. To Twilight this was real and dangerous; to Helvetica it was a disturbing but ultimately harmless dream. Helvetica glared at the VIXI. She felt intimidated, but she expected that sooner or later she'd lose control of her body and "do that thing" again.
"Word spreads around quickly in the VIXI realm." The VIXI continued. "You have the power to kill us, I hear.”
"Yeah, so back off before you’re next!”retorted Helvetica, nervously wondering why the power hadn’t kicked in yet.
Twilight covered his eyes.
The VIXI dropped from the ceiling on top of them. All three of them screamed. From the VIXI's mouth protruded two long, twitching fangs, attempting to sink into Helvetica's neck.
"WAKE UP NOW!”Helvetica screamed. "WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!"
Twilight tried to run away, but two of the VIXIs six legs wrapped around his slender body. He struggled and screamed, but it was futile.
The fangs touched Helvetica's neck, and just started to break the skin.
"How fun!" The monster laughed.
Suddenly a glass-shattering scream came out of nowhere and filled the room. It echoed throughout the house and the VIXI quickly sucked her fangs back in.
Helvetica and Twilight covered their ears but it was useless. The sound was deafeningly loud.
The VIXI tried to scream as loud as it could to drown out the noise, but it was no use. It finally let go of Twilight and Helvetica and clawed at it's long ears, crying in agony.
"I'll be back!" the VIXI cried, but Helvetica and Twilight couldn't hear it over the noise. The VIXI ran out of the room and disappeared. The screaming finally stopped.
Twilight and Helvetica sat and stared at the floor. Helvetica touched her ear. Shouldn't that have caused her pain? Shouldn't she at least be experiencing some sort of hearing loss? She sighed in relief. "Oh, duh." She thought. "This is just a dream..." She looked at Twilight, he was in a daze, sitting on the floor, eyes unfocussed.
"Twilight," Helvetica asked him. "Do your ears hurt?"
Twilight looked at her. "No..." he replied. He sounded exhausted.
Helvetica rubbed her ear lobe. It felt so real and yet not, just like everything else. She looked at Twilight again. "What was that sound, anyway?” she asked.
Twilight shivered. "Nothing good."
And on that note he slipped down onto the floor and drifted into sleep. Helvetica wanted to join him, but she felt strange sleeping in a dream. What if she never woke up?
Chapter 7: Wind Chime
Helvetica watched Twilight as he slept. Usually, when there is someone with you in a room, you can feel their "presence", the feeling that another living thing is there with you. But Helvetica did not feel this when she was with Twilight. Sometimes, she would even forget that he was there. Even with him right next to her, she still felt alone. This entire dream felt so hauntingly lonely. She continued to stare at Twilight. There he was, sleeping on the cold, hard floor. Helvetica remembered the loud scream. She covered her ears just from thinking about it. Where had that noise come from?
Helvetica's train of thought was interrupted once a new sound became audible. It was a thumping sound, like someone was bouncing a ball on the floor above, or someone was hopping down the stairs. She heard the thumping sound get closer and louder. She turned around, facing the room's only door. It was shrinking! Helvetica gasped.
She shook Twilight to wake him up, but he didn’t respond. She started to panic. Who would want to spend the rest of their dream trapped in Beluga's empty room? She quickly examined Twilight. He was quite thin. Then she looked at the door, which was quickly becoming quite small. She grabbed Twilight and dragged him as she crawled through the tiny door. By the time both made it to the other side, the door had vanished. Helvetica gasped. She remembered that the door in Beluga's room entered into a small hallway, but this certainly wasn't a hallway. She looked down. Green grass was all around her. She and Twilight were outside! She observed the yard they were in. It was a lawn filled with strange weeds and overgrown plant beds. It was enclosed by a tall, rickety wooden fence, covered with ivy and other plants. There were two trees: one was small with pink flowers, the other towering and bizarre, with no leaves and twisted branches. The sky was a dark nighttime blue, but there were no stars, instead it had two moons; one pale blue and the other white. They were the same size and sat side by side in the night sky. Helvetica's surroundings made her feel uncomfortable. She grabbed Twilight by the shoulders and shook him, begging him to wake up. He opened his eyes. As soon as he saw that they were outside, he yelped and grabbed Helvetica.
"We need to go inside!" he pleaded.
"Why?" asked Helvetica.
"How did we get out here?!" asked Twilight.
"The door, in Beluga's room- it started shrinking! And a thumping noise, too..." Helvetica realized how little sense she was making. "I got us out of that door before it disappeared- and now we're here."
Twilight started tearing up. "This must've been it's invitation." he whimpered.
"What's that supposed to mean?" asked Helvetica.
"I- I mean that screaming voice- it must've come from out here, it's lured us here! Can't you feel it?" Twilight trembled as he spoke.
Helvetica, for some reason, felt ashamed of herself. "I'm sorry... I just didn't want to be trapped in that room..."
Twilight buried his face in his knees. "I don't want to see anything!”
Helvetica shuddered. The air was still and humid. Calls of birds echoed through the trees beyond the old fence. A strange sound emerged.
Helvetica began to cry as soon as it began. The noise itself was a loud, echoing sound that sounded like heavy breathing, but it seemed, for lack of better words, shaky. As if someone was both shivering and gasping for breath.
The breathing noise stopped. A voice replaced it. "LEAVE!" it demanded. The voice sounded like wind chimes, if wind chimes could speak. Only one who had heard this voice could imagine it.
"LEAVE! YOU DO NOT BELONG!" The voice continued.
Helvetica covered her ears, collapsed to the ground and sobbed.
"How?! HOW?! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LEAVE?!" she screamed.
She went into a fit and began kicking and wailing, tears poured from her dark brown eyes. "HOW?" She repeated.
"LEAVE!" The voice replied. "OR ELSE!"
Helvetica wrapped her hands around her neck, trying to strangle herself awake.
"WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!" She begged herself until she was choking too hard to speak.
Twilight did not look up, he didn't even open his eyes. Hearing it was more than enough. He felt so powerless.
Helvetica collapsed, her eyes open and rolled in the back of her head. Was she dead? Was she dreaming? Was she awake?
Chapter 8: The beginning of the end(?)
Helvetica woke up.
She was lying in the grass, with her best friend, her dog Molly. She looked around and knew immediately where she was. All around her were fields and farmland, in front of her and Molly was a train track.
“I’m home!" She cried. Tears of joy ran down her cheeks now. She hugged Molly, whose warmth and soft fur felt just like it always had. Helvetica had a bad feeling that this still wasn't real, but she tried not to think about it. "I'm home." she repeated, this time more quietly. She looked up at the clear blue sky. It was nice and warm, and the sunlight felt so good. She looked at Molly. Molly was whimpering and grunting softly. Helvetica became worried. She remembered that her dog had only done that once before; the day when she had broken her leg after falling down the stairs. Or had she been pushed? Helvetica softly stroked Molly's back. "What's wrong?"
Molly's whimpering grew louder. Helvetica pulled her hand away. There was blood on her hands. She tried to get up and get help, but her legs wouldn't move. She tried to scream for help, but her voice wouldn’t come out, as though she were still choking.
"I'll help." said a voice.
She looked up. There was nothing there.
"I'll help." it repeated.
She tried to grab what she could not see, but there was no use. She looked at Molly.
Molly wasn't breathing anymore.
Helvetica woke up.
It was a room she didn't recognize , but that she knew was part of the haunted house. Everything was dusty and wooden. There was a bunk bed, but it was covered in junk and bizarre knick knacks. There was a poster on the wall of a fairy castle. There was an uncovered window with many crystal sun catchers dangling in front of it, spreading rainbows throughout the room. Seedlings and ivy cuttings were in several tiny pots, aligned along the window sill. Light poured in from the window, illuminating the room. It looked like dawn. Translucent white curtains blew all around, as if they were alive. Yet the window was closed and even if it had been open, nothing outside suggested a breeze. Helvetica looked out the window. She was on the second floor, and as far as the eye could see were rooves of many strange, haunted-looking houses just like this one. It looked like a ghost town.
She turned around and saw Twilight. He was sleeping in a bundle of lavender bed sheets in the middle of the floor. There was an imprint of another person next to him. Helvetica must have been sleeping there. She smiled sadly. She felt almost at peace for a moment in the sunny room. Then she heard a small crashing sound.
Helvetica looked to her right. A picture in it's frame had fallen on the floor from the top bunk of the crowded bunk bed. She picked it up and gasped.
It was a black and white picture, of herself from last night. It was a picture of when she had collapsed on the ground, when only the whites of her eyes could be seen. Suddenly Helvetica remembered everything that happened, flashes of it all began swirling in her mind. She started to feel angry again. She fell to the floor and tried to catch her breath.
"Wake up, wake up..." she murmured.
Suddenly another object fell from the bunk bed. It was a dusty old notebook.
She opened it up. In the first page was written:
"You are not dreaming."
"YES, YES I MUST BE DREAMING!" Helvetica shouted.
The book flipped to the second page by itself. it read:
"You know that You aren't dreaming."
Helvetica broke down into sobs again. Then she stopped, and realized something. “I-I’m not breathing.”
Helvetica truly couldn't breathe. Even if she tried. It didn’t feel bad, she wasn't dying or suffocating - just simply not breathing. It felt very strange, like she was a walking corpse.
She grabbed at the book, but it was gone.
She stared blankly out the window, a look of despair on her face.
"I'm not dreaming." she said quietly. "I'm awake… this is real."
She banged her head lightly against the wall. "Why me? Now what?" She whispered under her breath. "How do I get out of here?" she said a little louder, her voice fading into an almost squeak-like sound.
She felt like she was about to lose her mind.
Chapter 9: Violence
She turned around and looked at Twilight, who was sleeping soundly on his lavender sheets. His face looked so inhumanly beautiful and for once, peaceful. The sight of him made Helvetica boil. She continued to stare. The more she did, the angrier she got. "I.... could've saved myself so many times...." she spoke quietly to herself. "It’s all his fault.... he’s the one who kept me here."
"I hate you!" She cried. Twilight opened one eye, then started to get up.
"Oh, Helvetica, I'm so glad you're-"
"SHUT UP!" Helvetica interrupted. She grabbed him by the ponytail that hung down his back and forced him to stand up.
Twilight whimpered as Helvetica pulled his long hair. "Helvetica... that hurts..."
"SHUT UP!" she snarled, and threw him against the wall. He fell to the floor like a rag doll.
Twilight was shocked and frightened. He didn't move, he shivered as Helvetica drew closer.
Helvetica grinned as she slowly lifted up her foot and pressed it against Twilight's forehead. Then she pulled it back and started kicking him there repeatedly, until blood began to flow. Twilight said nothing, he just cowered in front of Helvetica and her fit of insanity.
"THIS..." She began. "...This is what you deserve for trapping me here!" "I'm going to make sure that you're miserable, for as long as I am! This is what you get!”
Twilight squeezed his eyes shut and silently cried. Helvetica punched his face repeatedly until scarlet red blood dripped from the corner of his mouth. She forced Twilight out of his huddled position, then punched and kicked him up and down his body. Then she took his right arm and twisted it backwards until it made a cracking sound. At this Twilight could finally couldn’t help but cry out in pain. "H-helveti-"
She covered his mouth with her hand before he could finish.
"I don't want to hear your voice." She said in a low, threatening tone.
She grabbed him and repeatedly rammed him against the wall. Twilight braced himself and endured the pain.
Suddenly Helvetica lost control of her body. She let go of Twilight and stared.
Twilight was in a fetal position on the floor, and looked up at her with one eye open. Despite his wounds, his face still looked beautiful.
Helvetica gently placed her hands on his shoulders and pulled him close. He cringed at her touch. She hugged him. He looked startled.
"Don't worry;" said Helvetica. “But do run. She'll gain control again soon; you're safer alone. I'll deal with Helvetica." Her hands glowed and healed Twilight's injuries. Twilight blindly ran away like a startled animal.
Helvetica’s possessed body smiled, then collapsed.
Chapter 11: The book.
Twilight hid in a closet, and through the crack of the closet door he could see a strange, brightly lit room with many bookshelves covered in messy papers and books of all kinds. He hadn't ran far from where Helvetica was, only a couple rooms over. Although his surface injuries were healed, he still felt awful inside. "Why....?" he whimpered pitifully to himself. “Is it really my fault? I wish I could've helped her..... I want to wake up, too." He felt nervous being inside the dark closet. He cautiously stepped out into the room, but he tripped and landed flat on his face on the floor. This caused one of the book cases to begin to fall, but Twilight grabbed it and propped it back up, sparing himself an avalanche of books and papers. The disturbance caused lots of dust to fly into the air, like a tiny storm. The dust sparkled in the sunlight from the window. It was beautiful, in the same way Twilight was. He smiled sadly. What now? Just sit and wait for the VIXI to get him? It all felt so hopeless. He looked out the window. The town was still there. Maybe he could run away to somewhere safer? The only places he knew anything about were that maze and this house. He sighed.
“It’s all hopeless. Why bother?". He walked back into the closet and waited for the VIXI to find him.
Meanwhile, Helvetica opened her eyes and observed her surroundings. Where was she? She was still in a room, maybe- but it had changed drastically. It was now an unpainted room, the walls looked like rotting, damp logs, all randomly pieced together like a beaver dam. The floor caved in a little, like a shallow bowl. In the dip of the floor was a puddle of indigo blue water. In front of her was a clock- a grandfather clock. It too was damp and wooden. All of the numbers on the clock's face were either out of place or illegible, but it seemed to change every time she looked at it. Helvetica laughed quietly to herself.
"Once again, everything is completely unpredictable.” She whispered, stroking her fingers through the puddle. “Even me. I could really use a break, everyone." She still wasn't breathing. She put her hand on her chest, feeling for a heartbeat. Nothing. "I don't even have a heart any more!” She cried. "I don't have anything anymore!" She stood up and searched for a door. There was no door to be seen.
"GET ME OUT OF HERE!" She screamed. "OUT OF THIS ROOM, THIS… WHATEVER-IT-IS!" A shiver went down her spine. When she had been with Twilight, she had felt all alone- sensing no living presence. But with Twilight gone, she could feel hundreds- maybe thousands- of things watching her, or maybe it was all just the presence of one powerful, invisible being. Whatever it was, it felt so unsettling that Helvetica was afraid to even blink.
Helvetica kneeled down before the puddle and cried. Every time her tears fell into the liquid, there was a faint sighing sound. Suddenly, a notebook- the same notebook Helvetica had seen before- was pushed up to the surface. Helvetica jumped, then slowly took the book into her hands. A pen materialized in her dominant hand. She opened the book. On the first page said was the word "Listen".
"Listen?" Asked Helvetica. "To what?"
The book flipped a page by itself. The next page said:
"Who are you?" asked Helvetica
"I am me, and also you.” Replied the book, after flipping to the next page.
"What should I do?" Helvetica begged.
"I will tell you." Said the next page.
The book shook, then leapt from Helvetica's hands. It sank back into the puddle, and then something new emerged from the same place.
It was a person- maybe. A boy, but not Twilight. No, this person looked like a completely normal boy, about Helvetica's age, with somewhat short brown hair and brown eyes. He wore a white T-shirt and jeans.
"You look familiar." said Helvetica flatly.
"I should." said the boy. "I am your animus."
Chapter 12: Helvetica's Journey
For whatever reason, Helvetica could care less what an animus was. Considering the logic of this world, perhaps wondering or wanting to know anything would be pointless.
"You are my animus." Helvetica responded. "Are you also the notebook?"
The boy nodded. "And I'm here to tell you something really important, so whatever you do, DO NOT forget it. This is the only time they've allowed me to do this."
"Then tell me." demanded Helvetica.
The animus began. "Helvetica- you are in a place where no other human may ever get to go. Where almost no other anything will get to go. You are in a place they've called Medelnino, a third universe created by the merging of your universe and the one where the VIXI dwell.”
Helvetica found this information unsettling. “Why are they merging?"
The animus sighed. “Who really knows why universes do anything, really?” He continued. “They aren’t merging together, think of it more like two parents making a baby. This new world is currently extremely small. It's only about the size of a small town on Earth, at least at the moment, and it's so unstable and random that it's like a dream- a very shallow, disjointed dream. And since Medelnino is a combination of both universes, it has been randomly taking things from both."
Helvetica's eyes widened. "You mean.... it took me?"
"Of all the things to take, the odds of you ending up here were so incredibly unlikely that it was almost impossible. In a way, you are a sort of twisted miracle." Said the animus. "The odds of it taking that dead cat were equally slim."
"Beluga?" Asked Helvetica.
"Yes." he said. "I think that was his name."
Helvetica’s eyes watered.“So am I trapped in this place?"
"No, maybe not." said the animus kindly. "There are two ways you could go back."
Helvetica grabbed the boy's shoulders and shook him. "WHAT ARE THE WAYS?!" she begged, her voice choking. "Please, get me out of here... I miss my home, I miss Molly…”
The animus gently pushed her away from him. He looked at the grandfather clock, there was only one hand on the face, and it was pointing to the words "I am here", where the 12 should've been. He sighed. "We're running out of time...." He fidgeted nervously. "Ok, so there are two ways. One way is to just wait to see if you'll just randomly be sent back- considering how unstable Medelnino is, there is always a chance... though, if you do go back, who knows where you could end up. You might just pop up in the middle of the ocean, or even somewhere out in space, a floating corpse floating through the galaxy forever..."
Helvetica shivered at the thought.
"Of course, that getaway plan isn't exactly reliable." said the animus. "The second plan is the one you must do if you truly want to leave safely."
He nervously looked back up at the clock, which now had it's hand where the 10 should be, but instead said "Bjdse", a barely readable nonsense word that probably meant nothing.
His speech quickened. "In order to get out, you must first stop feeling so scared- it will only make things worse, and could even influence how dangerous this world could be. You will get out only if you are brave."
This made Helvetica remember Twilight. Twilight wasn't brave, or was he? At least he didn't hurt people when he was scared, not like Helvetica had. Maybe she was the coward instead.
The boy continued. "After this, find Twilight. He will attract the VIXI, but they are harmless as long as I'm within you. I'm capable of killing VIXI when I control your body, as you have seen. But listen, there is a much bigger threat- a darkness that is so scary the VIXI cower before it- a creature with no known name, it may have been created by Medelnino itself. It's voice sounds like wind chimes, and it creates an ear-shattering scream when it wants to kill. And sometimes you can hear it breathing... It can look like a ghostly shadow, black smoke, or be invisible, and who knows what else... and if you get into it's clutches you're doomed. Whatever you do, DO NOT get involved with it. DON'T."
He had a grave look on his face, just the thought of the creature clearly made him feel scared.
"A-after you find Twilight again, look out a window and see if there is a town outside. If there is, go outside, but through the front door, NOT the back. If you take the back you'll find that monster, guaranteed. After you leave through the front door, run as fast as you possibly can, along the road in the front of the house. Go straight up that road and keep running until you find a train track. You'll hear the train coming, and as soon as the train is within sight, jump onto the train track with Twilight. I don't have enough time to explain what will happen then, but I'll tell you later when the time comes. We're out of time."
Helvetica started to speak. "But, wait, I want to know-"
She was interrupted by a loud sound. Suddenly, the damp wooden walls were heaving in and out- the walls were breathing.
Chapter 13: Breathless
The animus looked around quickly, panicking. He looked up at where the clock should be, but it had disappeared. The floor slowly began to straighten out, the puddle fading away. As fast as he could, the animus ran towards and jumped into the puddle just before it had completely dried up.
The walls continued to breathe, and there Helvetica stood, puzzled.
"Now what?" She asked herself, searching for a door.
Meanwhile, Twilight had realized that there weren't likely to be any VIXI for the time being, since it was probably around the end of the month and no normal VIXI would risk their life during that time. He had been sitting beside one of the room's dusty old bookshelves, thinking to himself. He had fallen asleep once or twice, but decided to stay awake after having two extremely disturbing nightmares.
"I wish I could've helped Helvetica. I Can't do anything right... I hate it here. But, wait... how can I hate it here?" Twilight asked himself. " 'here' is the only place I've ever been.... at least, that I remember. I have nothing to compare it to." He sighed. "And yet, I can't help but hate it with all my being!”
His own thoughts petrified him, almost as though he thought that he may uncover something about himself he'd rather not know... if he began thinking too much.
Twilight looked out of the dusty window. It was no longer a town, but an endless maze. Like the one he had met Helvetica in... in the beginning. But this maze was a hedge maze, not a marble one. No one was in it, but he did see something. Many, many little somethings. He tried cleaning the dust from the window, then squinted. What he saw was a huge flock of black birds, covering the maze. He gasped and stepped back. He had never seen birds before. He stepped back slowly, but slipped on a puddle of indigo-blue water.
"What's going on? Why is this here?!" He thought to himself. He tried to get up, but he couldn't, and then realized that he was sinking. He struggled to get out, violently grabbing at the floor, screaming and and begging to be let go. He ended his struggle after the water went over his head, and he sank into the abyss.
And as this was happening, Helvetica was still standing in the middle of wooden room, pondering what on earth she was supposed to do in order to leave. Suddenly she felt the floor beginning to cave in again, and a new puddle began to form. As the puddle appeared, Twilight rose from it, soaking wet and gasping for breath.
Helvetica looked down at Twilight. "That's strange." she said. "The animus boy and the notebook didn't get wet."
Twilight looked up at Helvetica, his beauty once again startled her.
"H- Helvetica." whimpered Twilight as he cautiously backed away from her.
She walked up to Twilight and opened up her arms to him. Twilight winced at her touch, but to his surprise she wasn't hurting him- she was hugging him.
Helvetica started to cry. "I'm so sorry, Twilight. I’ll be braver."
And then Helvetica took a deep breath. And then another. And another. She was surprised- because she was finally breathing again. She put her hand on her heart, and she could feel it beating. She felt like a living thing again.
As her breathing finally came back, the walls slowly began to stop. And as the walls stopped, a door appeared. Holding hands the whole way, Twilight and Helvetica walked out of the room together.
Chapter 14: Forgiveness
The room they walked into was the hallway, the one that came from Beluga's room in the beginning. The logic of this house was, as usual, inconsistent.
Twilight and Helvetica sat down together, letting go of each other's hands. All was silent.
"Twilight..." She began to speak. "I'm sorry I said you were at fault. I guess I felt that I needed someone to blame......"
Twilight stared sadly at the floor. He said nothing.
"It's ok…” he said eventually. "I'm sorry I couldn't help you."
"But you will help!" she cried. "I talked to someone and.... it turns out that I can't leave without you."
"Huh?" Twilight tilted his head to one side, just like her dog Molly used to.
"Twilight, do you know if there is still a town outside?" Helvetica asked, thinking about how strange that question sounded.
Twilight shook his head. "I looked, but there isn't a town anymore. It's a maze, with a flock of animals..."
"Animals?" Helvetica shuddered. "Were they birds?"
Twilight nodded. "That's sounds about right."
Helvetica remembered what the animus had told her. Even though he hadn't mentioned a flock of birds, she felt certain that it must be that horrible monster. The one that even the VIXI fear.
Helvetica stood up and looked around. The hallway, as it always was, was dark and eerie. Though, in a way, it might have been scarier if it were bright and cheerful. She wasn't quite sure what to do.
"Twilight, let's go find a window."
Twilight stood up, and followed Helvetica closely as they walked out of the hallway. They wandered through all of the rooms of the first floor, but there wasn't a window in sight. The only light was from the phosphorescent walls. They gave up and decided to rest in a dark bedroom.
Helvetica lay on the bed, about to close her eyes, until she realized that Twilight looked scared again.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
Twilight shivered. "Something isn't right." he began to cry. "Something is definitely not right."
"What?" she asked.
"I don't know" said Twilight. "There's something here-“ But soon after saying that he collapsed on the bed, fast asleep.
“Great, now how am I supposed to go to sleep?" Helvetica moaned. She tried closing her eyes, and despite her fears, she too fell asleep.
Chapter 15: Eye of Darkness
Twilight was standing on a train track. It was dark, but the sun had not completely set yet. He heard the sound of the train, and hearing it, he ran as fast as he could down the track.
"I'm going to die! I'm going to die!" He screamed.
He tripped and fell on the track. The train came, moving more like a ferocious animal than a machine. It had a huge, gaping mouth with long, sharp teeth. It ran fast towards Twilight, trampling him and tearing his body into pieces. The pain was brief but unimaginable.
Twilight woke up with a jolt. The same nightmare- every time. He looked at Helvetica, who was fast asleep. Suddenly, he had an awful feeling that something else was there, and looked at the wall facing him. He gasped in horror. It was a huge, jet black silhouette of a hand, with long claws. Black smoke swirled all around it. The hand was reaching out to Twilight. He began shaking Helvetica, begging her to wake up. She remained asleep, as if under a spell. Twilight screamed and ran as fast as he could to the hallway, but ended up slamming against the wall, because the exit had disappeared. Twilight screamed and clawed at the walls. The hand drew closer, and soon it's bony black fingers had wrapped around Twilight. He struggled to escape it's clutches, but it was no use. The shadow pulled him in, and with it he sank into the wall.
He was in an endless looking white room. Before him was a huge monster made up of shadows and smoke, it was what the hand was connected to. All around him flew the black birds, the same ones that were in the maze. Twilight fell on all fours onto the floor, his eyes wide, gasping. The hand extended once again and grabbed him, black smoke engulfing his body. Twilight started coughing and then fell unconscious.
When Twilight woke up, he was back in the room with Helvetica. He shook her.
Helvetica opened one eye. "What?" she asked. Then, she opened both eyes and gasped when she saw Twilight's face. "Twilight- your eye!"
"My.... eye?" His hand trembled as he attempted to cover it. "What happened to my eye...?"
"The green one!" exclaimed Helvetica. "It's turned jet black. You can't even see the pupil anymore!”
Twilight turned a whiter shade of pale. “What did it do to me....?!"
"It? What?”Helvetica asked.
"It wasn't a nightmare... it really happened!" He cried. "What did it do?!"
He clung to Helvetica and cried. Helvetica ran her fingers through his hair. She didn't want to know what had happened. She felt unsafe enough already.
"Let's hurry up and find a window and see if the town's back." she finally said.
The two went back out into the hallway, which had returned now. They went into the dining room, and, sure enough, the window was uncovered. They ran up and peered into it.
Helvetica sighed. "Darn. It's an empty field, now."
Twilight shook his head. "No, it's definitely a town."
Helvetica looked at him and raised an eyebrow. “No… I see a field."
Twilight put his hand on her shoulder. "Now can you see it?" he asked.
Helvetica was startled, and nodded. "I can see it now, but... why can I only see it when I'm touching you?"
Twilight ignored her, his black eye reflected the town through the window. "Let's get out of here." he said. Helvetica felt uneasy. Twilight's tone of voice had changed slightly, He no longer sounded sad or scared or even as kind as he used to. "Ok..." she hesitated. "Let's go, then."
Chapter 16: An Un-true Everything
Helvetica began walking out of the room to the front door, but Twilight grabbed her and pulled her in the opposite direction. "The door is this way." said Twilight, flatly, pointing the same way he had pulled her.
"No." she argued. "I remember it being that way. That's the front of the house."
Twilight smiled, then laughed strangely. "Well, you know how strange this place can be... the doors must've switched places."
Helvetica frowned, and pushed Twilight away from her.
"Are you ok, Twilight?" she asked.
"I just want to leave, like you do.” Twilight replied.
Helvetica sighed and followed Twilight to where he believed the front door was.
A few rooms over, there was another door. There was a note tacked on it, that said: "This is not the back door."
"That looks suspicious." said Helvetica, turning around.
"No, that looks like proof that it's not the back door." insisted Twilight. He quickly grabbed the knob and flung it open. He tugged Helvetica's arm and she reluctantly walked out with him.
Outside of the door was a fenced-in yard, perhaps the same yard they had been in before. The two stood before the gate. It looked like it was in the middle of the afternoon, the sky was white, the clouds were blood red. "This is the place with that wind chime voice." whimpered Helvetica, her voice choking. "This is NOT the town!"
Twilight glared at her. "Shut up!" he yelled. "Don't you want to leave?"
Helvetica felt distressed. Suddenly her body began to move without her thinking, she was being taken over again.
"Helvetica...." her possessed self said. "It's me- the animus. It looks like things have gone very wrong."
Twilight glared at her like a feral animal. "Nothing's wrong!" he snapped.
The possessed Helvetica's hands glowed, and she reached out to Twilight. Twilight's eye turned back to its original luna-moth green and he collapsed.
"We have to get out of here!" The animus said. "This is the domain of the monster- I don’t know what will happen if it catches you!”
Helvetica gained control of her body again, her heart beating faster than ever before. Panicking, she grabbed Twilight's arms and tried dragging him back to the door as fast as she possibly could, but it was locked. Helvetica started violently started kicking the door. In response the door grew a mouth and bit her foot, then vanished with a pop.
"N-No!" she cried. "No! No! No!" She sat down next to Twilight, and continued crying. Suddenly she could hear breathing- the breath of the monster. She panicked.
"Animus! Animus help me!" she begged.
The notebook appeared from nowhere and flipped open to the first page, on which was written:
"Are you sure? I can only appear before you one more time."
"I'm sure!" she cried.
A handsome brown unicorn stallion appeared before her. "I can only appear before you twice." It said, sounding uneasy. "Once in my human appearance, and once in my animal form. After this I can only talk to you by possessing your body. Ok?"
"I understand." replied Helvetica. "Please help me."
The Unicorn shivered. "To tell you the truth, I'm frightened half to death right now. Our minds are connected. It would help me feel a lot better if you weren't so scared."
The monster's hoarse breathing became louder. "I know you're there!" the wind chime voice shrieked. "Now open up the gate, or I'll just force my way in!"
The unicorn whinnied. "Helvetica, look, a driveway!"
Helvetica turned around. Yes, it was a driveway, and it led to the road.
"It’s the town!" she exclaimed. She turned to her animus. "Can you carry Twilight?" The unicorn nodded, and a saddle and harness appeared on him. He bent down as Helvetica lifted Twilight up onto his back, making sure as best she could that the boy was secure. Then the three escaped to the road as fast as they could.
Chapter 16: Less than Luck
Down the road were many rows of buildings, some were upside-down, some were normal, and some were so twisted that you could barely call them manmade at all.
The Monster, realizing that they were trying to escape, pursued them, disguising itself as smoke rising from the chimneys of the houses they passed.
Helvetica, the animus, and the unconscious Twilight ran down the road, which had no cars. All seemed uncomfortably still.
"Why hasn't that monster followed us?" asked Helvetica.
"It might be, but we just can't see it." said the unicorn as it ran. Twilight began to slide off of his back and the Unicorn paused so Helvetica could get him safely back up.
As they continued to run, they found the train track coming closer into sight.
"The train!" said Helvetica excitedly.
The unicorn smiled and the two picked up pace. Soon enough, they were standing in front of the train tracks.
Helvetica closed her eyes and listened for the train. All that could be heard was herself and Unicorn catching their breaths.
It felt like it took forever, but really it was just a few minutes. The train's loud rumble and eerie siren emerged, and soon it became within sight. They all stepped onto the train track, and it headed straight for them. Just like in Twilight's dream, the train had a big gaping mouth and tongue, but unlike the dream it had no teeth.
Helvetica was surprised, but not scared. "Trains don't have mouths!"
The Unicorn looked at her and smiled kindly. Then the train widened it's huge mouth and swallowed them all whole.
Chapter 17: Within the Train
Helvetica was overjoyed that she was finally on the train, that she was beginning her journey home. She observed it’s interior. It didn't look like a train at all, but a small wooden room- a dining room. It almost felt like being in a dollhouse.
Helvetica took Twilight off of the unicorn's back and placed him carefully onto a wooden chair. He looked up at Helvetica sadly.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"I just had an awful thought." sighed the unicorn. "Helvetica- since we used the back door…”
Helvetica bit her lip and hesitated to speak. She was engulfed with anxiety. ".......yes."
The unicorn shook his head. "And we were supposed to use..."
Helvetica interrupted him. "The front door. But we made it here anyway. So what’s the difference?”
A new voice emerged. "If you go through the back door... it allows the evil creature access to the train."
Helvetica turned around and found the the source of the voice. There, sitting in a rocking chair, was a jumbled mess of bones and fur, held together with dried blood in the vague shape of a cat. It looked like a combination of roadkill and a very morbid stuffed toy. "It's me- Beluga." it said.
Helvetica gasped, her eyes wide. "Beluga!" she began to cry. "I'm... sorry!"
Beluga shook his head. His movements were unnatural looking, like a puppet. "It's ok.... I'm just glad I'm not alone again.”
"Sorry to interrupt the reunion and everything, but...." said the unicorn. "We're in trouble. The shadow creature must be in the train- who knows what will happen once we get to the VIXI world..."
"VIXI world?!" cried Helvetica. "I thought I was going home!"
"We are." said the Unicorn. He looked up at the wall, where there was an old wooden clock. It said: 12:00. "I'm going to be leaving soon, so I better tell you quickly: You're going to be on this train for a little while. Then you'll be at the VIXI world. Just leave the rest to Twilight, you'll be fine..." His voice trailed off. He knew that "you'll be fine" part didn't sound very convincing- because it was probably a lie.
"But Twilight's unconscious!" Helvetica said.
The unicorn began to fade away, a single tear rolled down his face. "Wake him up, then." he said, then disappeared.
Helvetica felt uneasy. Maybe because she didn't know if she would make it home or not. Maybe it was because the train kept leaning from side to side, as if it was trying to balance on stilts, or maybe because her animus had left her. She sat down and stared at the floor.
"Please pet me." mewed Beluga.
Helvetica ignored him. She slowly placed one hand on Twilight's shoulder. "Wake up." she whispered. He did nothing. She shook him, until he fell off the chair and crashed onto the floor.
He opened his eyes. "We're on the train!”
Helvetica hugged Twilight. "You'll know what to do when we get off this train, right?" she asked nervously.
Twilight said nothing, he closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around Helvetica's waist. The train stopped tilting.
Finally, he spoke. "There are many VIXI on this train. I can smell them. It must be the beginning of a new month."
Chapter 18: The VIXI's Claw
Helvetica sighed. "Twilight... why? Why must these VIXI hunt you?"
Twilight, once again, said nothing.
"Pet me..." begged Beluga pitifully.
Twilight stood up and covered his right eye. "Is it...?"
"It's not black anymore." said Helvetica.
The train shook. Helvetica looked out a small window below the clock.
She gasped. "The train.... is in the sky!"
Twilight looked out the window. It really was the sky. The clouds were pink and blue, the sky itself was a pale yellow.
Beluga crept forward. "I want to see." he said.
Twilight held Beluga up to the window. “Wow, look at that!”
The train shook again. Helvetica turned away from the window, and noticed a door opposite from the wall with the clock. Th knob turned as if someone was trying to open it. She panicked. "Twilight!" she cried. "We need to block the door!" Twilight grabbed a chair and placed it against the door. Helvetica held the door back with her hands. Beluga hid under a rocking chair.
"Who are you?" demanded Helvetica.
The door flung open, throwing Helvetica back and breaking the chair. A VIXI scampered through the doorway, tipping over furniture and scratching the floor with it's long claws.
"Here I am!" the VIXI cackled.
This VIXI, like previous ones, looked like a combination of many animals. It had the body, tan fur and mane of a lion, the long claws of an anteater, the head of a bear with short, pointed cat ears, it's eyes were almost all whites, like a terrified horse. It's mouth was a long, broad grin, with jagged shark teeth, similar to the first VIXI they had encountered. The VIXI's tail was long, shaped like a lizard's, and dark green. The scales on it's tail were similar to a fish. It's legs were thin and deer-like, and it had long, bull-like horns on it's head. It's voice was androgynous but more human-like than the others.
Twilight screamed and nearly darted under a chair, but stopped himself. He grabbed Beluga and stood his ground beside Helvetica, despite trembling from head to toe.
Helvetica was barely able to move. She muttered a prayer to herself, begging the animus to come and take control of her.
The VIXI ignored her and rampaged throughout the tiny room, thrusting all of the furniture into the air. Helvetica was released from her spell of paralysis and quickly only thought of safely escaping the flying chairs. She ran to the door and screamed. "TWILIGHT! BELUGA! RUN TO THE DOOR!"
The VIXI was clearly annoyed by her and turned around, whipping her with it's tail. "Shut up, you worthless flesh!"
The VIXI licked it's lips with a long, slimy, blue tongue. Twilight screamed as the hideous VIXI grabbed him with it's long claws.
Twilight kicked and scratched at the huge VIXI, but this attack was to no avail. In fact, it was so ineffective that it made the VIXI burst out laughing.
Twilight was frustrated with his own weakness. He was silent.
Helvetica, like Twilight, was also frustrated that she couldn't do anything. She merely stood and watched, brave enough to not run away, but too scared to do anything else. Beluga hid behind her.
"Now...." began the VIXI, bringing Twilight closer, so close that the VIXI was almost hugging him. "Tell me your secret."
"What secret?" said Twilight with a pained look.
"DON'T ACT LIKE YOU DON'T KNOW! YOU MUST KNOW!" screeched the VIXI as it tightened it's grip on Twilight, who screamed in pain.
"Twilight!" cried Helvetica. She tightly clenched her fist. "C'mon... save me... save Twilight.... Animus, please…” she whispered to herself. "Please!"
Chapter 19: Escaping fear, Entering madness
Sadly, nothing overtook Helvetica. Perhaps the Unicorn was the last time she'd ever come in contact with her animus. She felt something tickling her ankle. It was Beluga.
"W-what is it?" She whispered to him.
"We have to go, another one's coming!" said Beluga.
Helvetica was terrified. She grabbed Beluga and ran to the corner of the room, unable to think.
Before they knew it, another VIXI came through the door. This one was almost identical to the one holding Twilight, except for it's fur was white and it's scales were red, and it's eyes were purple with catlike pupils.
"Brother!" It hissed.
The first VIXI turned around. It bared it's sharp teeth at it's sibling VIXI, clutching Twilight protectively.
The white-furred VIXI drew closer to the one holding Twilight. It lifted it's clawed foot and attempted to snatch Twilight away.
"NO!" growled the tan VIXI, lifting Twilight away from the other. They were acting like children fighting over the same toy.
Helvetica watched and felt, once again, powerless. She looked around the room and searched for an escape. She saw the small window, questioned her sanity, then decided.
"Are you VIXI stupid?" she shouted. Beluga ran away to a different corner. "Twilight is forbidden to tell the secret- even if he wanted to, he simply can't."
Twilight gave her a puzzled look, but he quickly realized that she had some sort of plan and played along.
"Really?" said the tan VIXI skeptically, still holding Twilight out of the white one's reach.
"Yeah." replied Helvetica confidently. "But that doesn't mean I can't talk."
The white one charged after her, attempting to grab her by the throat, but Helvetica ran as fast as she could in order to get away.
"I'll tell you once you put Twilight down." she said as she ran.
"Fine!" exclaimed the White VIXI.
"No way!" contradicted the tan VIXI. "If we do that you'll both just run away. We'll only put Twilight down once we catch you."
Helvetica was disappointed that the Tan one wasn't quite as stupid as she had hoped.
"Um..." Helvetica wasn't sure what to say. "Twilight means nothing to me anyway. I guess I'll just have to leave without him." She ran as fast as she could to the window and began to climb out. She muttered another prayer to herself. "Too bad you'll never hear the secret!" she shouted as she jumped out the window.
Twilight was shocked. The VIXI was somewhat surprised, and quickly dropped Twilight and peered out the window. Helvetica wasn't anywhere in sight. The VIXI were furious and started squabbling with each other.
"This is all your fault!" Snarled the Tan VIXI as it attempted to claw the white one's eyes out.
"No, it's your fault!" cried the White VIXI, furiously kicking it's brother's belly.
Twilight wasn't quite sure what was going on anymore. He looked around for Beluga, but he must've already escaped. He gave up and, with a big gulp, followed Helvetica out the window.
Chapter 20: Dangling
Twilight screamed as he fell through the window, but to his surprise, ceased to fall. He was dangling upside down, and looked up. Helvetica was underneath the train, sitting on some sort of metal part that wasn’t in use while the train was airborne. She pulled Twilight in by his armpits. He sat beside her beneath the train and tried not to look down.
"You're so brave, Helvetica." said Twilight.
"No, actually, I was terrified. I'm not quite sure how I did it..." said Helvetica, looking down. "Twilight?"
"Yes?" asked Twilight, his eyes reflecting the strange sky like a cat's.
“It doesn’t look like there’s anything below us. No land, no water… just endless sky and clouds, as if we were looking up, not down."
Twilight glanced down hesitantly and nodded.
"Where are we?" Asked Helvetica.
"We are..." Twilight paused. "We're somewhere in between, I guess."
Chapter 21: Above the Ocean of Glass
Helvetica stared down at the vast, empty sky before her. Suddenly, she saw something.
"Twilight, look! It's amazing!" Helvetica pointed down.
Below them was the coastline of what looked like a very still ocean of molten glass. It reflected the strange colors of the sky, and looked iridescent and beautiful like Twilight's long hair.
“This must be the VIXI world!" Twilight exclaimed.
Helvetica smiled. “It’s much more beautiful than I expected.”
They were both silent for some time, staring at the ocean below.
"We'll be landing soon." said a voice- the voice of wind chimes.
Twilight and Helvetica both turned around towards the source of the voice, terrified. Twilight nearly fell off the train, but Helvetica grabbed him.
"W-where are you...?" Helvetica could barely speak.
"The train." said the voice. "Wants to land. Be careful...."
The voice, though sounding entirely inhuman, still had a somewhat taunting tone, as if it were messing with them.
Twilight's eyes were wide with fear. They seemed to have darkened, as if they were slowly turning black.
"I'm.... starting to remember what I am." He started trembling and pulling his hair, he looked like he was entering a state of great pain and terror.
Helvetica grabbed at his bony wrists and tried to hold his hands still. "Twilight... I won't hurt you." She started crying.“Please stop. You’re scaring me…”
The train interrupted them as it suddenly dove down into the glass ocean, like a roller coaster going down from it's highest point. They held on to it for dear life.
Since they were under the train, they had no protection from the sudden intensity of the dive. Both of them flew off of their perch and fell up through the train's underside, repeatedly crashing into various parts of the train. Blood was everywhere, but all of it was Helvetica's. Twilight clung to her screaming. Helvetica, who felt barely alive, saw through blurred vision that she was about to collide with one of the train's wheels, which would surely kill her. She pushed Twilight away from her and smashed into the train wheel, her body rendered apart just like Twilight’s did in his dreams. Twilight fainted. He passed through the rest of the train, everything fazing right through him like a ghost. He remained unharmed, unlike Helvetica who was nothing more than a mess of blood all over the belly of the train. The train made contact with the ocean, and though the glass sea slowed it down it was eventually submerged completely.
Chapter 23: We've lost so easily.
Twilight regained consciousness after falling into the ocean. He opened his eyes and looked around. The glass was hot, and thick. Twilight found it almost impossible to maneuver through it. He saw the train below moving sluggishly, deeper and deeper into the ocean.
He paused and tried to make sense of what had just happened. Where was Helvetica? Suddenly he remembered, but it was hazy. He remembered blood, and soon realized what had happened.
He screamed in grief but the glass atmosphere deafened the noise. He covered his mouth expecting his lungs to be filled, but soon learned that you could breathe in it as if it was air.
He floated aimlessly in the ocean, wondering what to do. He was in despair.
He closed his eyes and continued to float, his mind had gone blank. He could float for eternity for all he cared.
Helvetica opened her eyes slowly.
She was in a hospital room, her mother was hugging her and crying hysterically.
"Oh, Helve! Thank GOD you're back!! I love you!" She cried.
Helvetica hugged her mother. "What happened, Mom?"
Her mother said nothing and just continued to cry.
A man spoke up, dressed as a doctor. "You were hit by a car. You’ve been in a coma for two months, we thought you'd never make it!"
"Coma….?” Helvetica said slowly. "Where's Twilight?"
"You mean Ms. Fawn Twilight?" Said her mother grimly.
"Huh?" Said Helvetica.
"She...." Her mother wiped her tears. "She was the woman who crashed her car into ours because she was drinking. She died instantly. That's odd, though... how do you know her name?"
"Twilight!" Helvetica started crying.
Her mother hugged her and started crying, too. "I-It's ok, we don't have to talk about it now..."
Helvetica pushed her mother away and glared at her.
"Helve...?" Her mom was shocked.
"This is a dream." she said. "I've had them before. When I'm back to my world, but it's never quite right...."
"No!" Cried her mother. "This is real!"
Helvetica felt very unsure of anything, including her own sanity.
"I'm dreaming!" She yelled. "And I need to go back to the real world and find my home again! I'm not letting a dream slow me down!" She leapt off her hospital bed, disconnecting all the wires that were attached to her. The Doctor and her mother tried to grab her but it was too late, and she jumped out the window.
"NO!!!" Screamed her mother, trying to follow her out the window.
"You can't go after her now!" shouted the doctor, holding her back.
Passersby screamed and pointed at Helvetica, who was falling from a dangerous height. In no time at all she'd surely splat onto the pavement.
She showed no fear as she fell, confident that she'd wake up.
Standing where she was about to fall was her animus, in the form of a unicorn. "Helvetica!" he cried.
"Animus!" she replied, drawing nearer to the ground.
She landed on her Animus. Apparently only she could see the Unicorn, as all the people were shocked to see her not as a dead body on the ground, but as a live girl floating in mid-air.
"I'm dreaming...?" began Helvetica. "Right?"
The unicorn said nothing and soon they teleported back to the VIXI world.
They were falling in the sky.
"What just happened?" asked Helvetica.
"I guess, on a random impulse, you were sent back." said the unicorn.
"So that was real?" Helvetica was surprised. "I've been in a coma?"
"Well, yes and no." Said the Animus. "Your death in the VIXI world must've triggered some sort of teleportation, and you temporarily woke up in the body of another Helvetica."
"Yes, in another dimension." Said the Animus. "In that dimension you were in a car crash. And you, in place of that Helvetica's body, nearly killed another version of yourself. As an animus to all the Helvetica's, I have to guide every single one, so I was allowed to come out a third time in order to save both of you."
Helvetica decided that some things were meant to be beyond her understanding.
“Ok.” Said Helvetica. She hugged her animus. "Thank you.”
"You missed the train." said the unicorn. "Twilight's in the ocean..." The unicorn looked concerned and looked at Helvetica. "Don't go in the ocean."
Helvetica looked around. “But I'm falling! Where am I supposed to go?! And how do you know so mu-"
But the unicorn had already faded away.
Helvetica looked down as she drew closer to the ocean of glass.
"Where am I supposed to go?!" She shouted.
Chapter 24: Kirinirikki
Twilight felt a sharp pain in his head. It was so unbearable that Twilight screamed, but no sound was made in the glass abyss. He tried to place his hand on his head, to ease the pain- but the glass was so thick that it took too much strength to move. His eyes turned a shade darker.
"I'm not a VIXI." He thought to himself. "I'm NOT a VIXI!"
A dark shadow swirled around him. It was the monster.
"You aren't a VIXI." said the monster, it's wind-chime voice was able to be heard despite where they were. "You are something more dangerous than a VIXI."
Many memories returned to Twilight, all in an instant. His head felt as though it would explode.
"I'm not a VIXI...... I.... I am...." His eyes turned black. Suddenly he felt some kind of power come over him, and he was able to swim through the molten glass as quickly as a fish underwater.
"Where should I go?" he asked the monster. The dark shadow swam ahead of him. "Follow." it said. So Twilight followed.
Helvetica screamed as she fell through the air and braced herself for impact. But instead, something had caught her in mid air. Without thinking, Helvetica grabbed tightly on to what had caught her, fearing falling off. She buried her face into a long, silky mane. Her hands were gripping skin below the mane, it was soft and velvety like a horses. She was afraid to open her eyes to find out what it was.
"Are you a VIXI?" Whispered Helvetica to the creature. She could barely speak, she felt exhausted.
"No." Said the creature. It's voice was human, but heavenly. It sounded like a deep, mature voice, masculine yet also feminine. Like if the moon could speak. When Helvetica heard it, she felt safe. She opened her eyes. What she saw took her breath away.
She was riding on a creature that was so beautiful, so elegant, that it was almost godlike. This creature was large, slightly larger than a horse, with a slim, muscular body, coated in short, shimmery velvet fur, that shone a pale aqua. Intricate lavender vein-like patterns covered it's neck and parts of it's long, thin legs. It had a somewhat flat yet beautiful feline face, with a small cat-like nose and very large eyes similar to Twilight’s. It's tail was a long, flowing tuft that was almost as long as it's body. It's mane and tail were color's similar to Twilights hair- pale and iridescent. It had similar fur tufts around it's ankles. The creature's feet were small and delicate hands, like doll hands. And from the sides of it's head were furry, flexible, tentacle-like antlers.
It turned its head backwards like an owl to look at Helvetica as it flew. It's face was expressionless, yet wise. It's pale rose-colored eyes reflected her face.
"You.... are beautiful." Helvetica could barely speak.
The creature turned its head back around.
"Are... are you Twilight?" Helvetica asked, her arms around the creature's long neck.
"I am called a Kirinirikki." it said.
"Is Twilight one, too?" Asked Helvetica.
The kirinirikki said nothing and continued to fly.
Chapter 25: The Beach
Finally, after following the shadow monster through the ocean, both Twilight and the shadow had reached some form of land- a beach, made up of nothing but tiny shards of sparkling glass. The molten glass immediately hardened and shattered off of Twilight's body once he made it to land. Twilight sat and stared at the ground. The fresh shattered glass was all around him. The smoke-like shadow monster circled Twilight.
"I am..." Twilight began. "... it's my fault..."
"It's your fault." mimicked the monster.
Twilight's dark irises reflected no light. He felt no longer like himself.
Helvetica and the Kirinirikki flew towards land also, to where Twilight was.
"Twilight!" Helvetica called to him.
Twilight turned around and looked up at the Kirinirikki and Helvetica. He stood up, ready to run away, but the dark monster forced him to stay. Twilight screamed and begged to be let go.
The Kirinirikki landed and stood before Twilight and the monster, and Helvetica slid off it's back. She tried to run up to Twilight but the Kirinirikki grabbed her with a tentacle and forced her back.
"Why?" shouted Helvetica. "I need to see Twilight!"
The Kirinirikki shook it's head and then turned towards Twilight.
"G.... go away! Go AWAY!" Twilight begged, as if the presence of the Kirinirikki brought him agony. "Please..... " he sobbed.
The Kirinirikki walked closer to Twilight. Even the way it walked was divine.
"Twilight...." said the Kirinirikki. "So this is Twilight."
Twilight was too distressed to breathe. He simply stood like a deer in the headlights.
The shadow monster released itself from Twilight and began to change shape. It slowly began to look like the silhouette of a human. Helvetica gasped. The Kirinirikki said nothing.
The silhouette had filled out into a beautiful woman, with long, straight dark hair and pale skin. She seemed ghostly, and her eyes were dark and had so many reflections that it seemed like there was another galaxy inside them. She wore a long, simple black dress and was very thin.
"I hate you." the woman said. She sounded plainly human, yet somehow resembled the wind chime voice.
The kirinirikki was silent. Helvetica stared. She, too, said nothing.
"Why did you ever bring me here?" the woman asked sadly. "why...?"
The kirinirikki said nothing.
"Why did you not tell me what you were...? How this happened? What was going on...?" She could not look the Kirinirikki in the eyes.
“There was no point in addressing such a minor detail.” The Kirinirikki stated matter of factly.
"If you knew this would happen, then why did you do it?" the woman sobbed.
"It was meant to happen." said the Kirinirikki.
“THEN WHY DIDN’T I GET A SAY?!” screamed the woman. "What- what are you, anyway?"
Helvetica was lost, but still attempted to understand the situation. Twilight was so disturbed that he couldn't think coherently, gripping his head in his hands.
"I'm the Kirinirikki. I'm one of the most powerful living things in this world, second to only a few.”
“Only something weak could do so much harm to an innocent girl.” The woman retorted.
"W-what's going on?" whispered Helvetica nervously.
Chapter 27: The Creation of Medelnino
"I'll tell you what's going on." said the woman shakily. "It happened 11 years ago." She stopped and took a deep breath. "I thought I was dreaming- I met a man while I was walking alone in the woods. I don’t know why I wasn't cautious of him- I don't normally talk to strangers, especially men, when I'm out alone somewhere, but I was under some sort of spell. I remember shouting 'I love you', and he only smiled and nodded his head. The rest I barely remember... but somehow we ended up…”
The Krininirikki listened to her intently, as if it had forgotten the story and wanted to hear it again.
Helvetica tried to figure out what any of this had to do with anything, but she didn't bother speaking up about it. Was it even true? It didn't make much sense so far. She looked at Twilight, who had gone limp and looked nearly dead. She could see him breathe, though, which made her feel relieved.
"I woke up..." continued the woman. "And assumed that bizarre experience was a dream. But...." The woman started to cry. "It turned out I was pregnant. And...." she sobbed. "Unlike normal pregnancies... I... I began to give birth almost immediately after I woke up. I was so scared that I wanted to call 911, but the phone had disappeared. Everything had disappeared. My room was empty, even the doors were gone. I panicked, and looked down at my baby. It's eyes were two different colors.... pink and green....it's pupils were all wrong…. it... wasn't human. I tried to strangle it." She sobbed. "But when I attempted to... my body turned to smoke. I screamed, only to discover my voice had changed, too. All I wanted was to die, for this nightmare to end, but how can you die if you no longer have a body?”
Helvetica was upset by this story. She gripped the Kirinirikki's mane tightly. The Kirinirikki ignored her and was silent.
"Soon, the room disappeared. A new place started forming around me- a dream-like world I'd never seen before. It was terrifying. I screamed and begged for something to destroy me and my baby, and soon enough we both started to fade away, the ground absorbed us." The woman began to cry again. "I thought that would be the end.... but.... then I was forced back into the world again, feeling nothing but anger…”
Helvetica gasped. “Was it when I came to Medelnino? It caused you and your baby to wake up, right? .... but... why?"
"You, along with Beluga, were the first living things from the other universe after myself. It apparently triggered our resurrection." said the woman, glaring at Helvetica.
"So, you're son really is...... Twilight!" exclaimed Helvetica.
“Yes, I was disguised as that man in the woods..." began the kirinirikki. "And so Twilight is half human, half Kirinirikki. His existence is what formed the link between the VIXI world and yours, thus creating a hybrid universe- the one they’ve called Medelnino."
Chapter 28: Destroying the link.
Helvetica couldn't believe what she had heard.
"Twilight is the cause of this middle universe...." she said to herself. "His birth is why I'm here right now...."
"Yes." said Twilight. He had gotten up, his eyes were no longer pitch black, but they did look very sad. “It's all true. I've remembered everything now. Living in the darkness for so long with my… mother.”
"Twilight!" cried Helvetica as she ran to him. She hugged him very tightly, crying.
"We'll have to kill Twilight." said the woman.
"Why?!" protested Helvetica.“This isn’t his fault!”
The woman pulled Helvetica off of Twilight.“But if he dies, then Medelnino is gone. And no more innocent lives from the other two universes will have to deal with what we've been through."
“No. It will keep taking things from both worlds..." said the Kirinirikki. "Just like our universes once did. It will be stable eventually. Twilight was the seed Medelnino grew from, and he is it’s biggest influence for now, but it could exist without him. It is the duty of the Kirinirikki to help new worlds be born. We are like the bees that pollinate the flowers. One day the new world could be a bridge between yours and this one for those who are ready to cross it.”
“Well so far it is useless! All it does is trap innocent people to their death!” screamed the woman, trying to snatch Twilight away. Twilight made no effort to resist his mother's attempt. He pushed himself away from Helvetica and waited to be killed.
"NO!" begged Helvetica. “Please don't kill him!"
The Kirinirikki, having apparently lost interest, flew away. The woman was furious. "COME BACK!" she screamed. But she knew there was nothing she could do.
Helvetica tried to take Twilight back but Twilight pushed her away again.
"Twilight...." whimpered Helvetica. "But.... why?"
“Me existing has done nothing but hurt people.”he said. "This is the only way. If I die, maybe the middle world will let you go.”
"Why does it need to be that way?!" cried Helvetica.
The woman began to strangle Twilight, but when she did, she turned to smoke again. "IT WON'T LET ME KILL YOU!" The now-smoke woman screamed in her wind chime voice. “WHY? WHY?!"
"I guess you'll have to do it, Helvetica." said Twilight. "Don't argue, just do it. Please. I don’t know how else to help you get back home.”
“No! I’d be happier trapped here forever with you, than back on Earth knowing what I had done.”said Helvetica, tears rolling down her cheeks. She pulled him towards her and kissed him. Twilight pushed her away, tears in his eyes as well.
“But I want to die. I’ve served my purpose and I want my mother to finally rest. You have a place out there where you belong, and I don’t. I won’t be missed.”said Twilight.
“Yes you do. You have a world you belong to more than anyone else! The Kirinirikki said it will eventually become safe and stable." Helvetica gripped him tightly. "And I think it will become stable as soon as you do."
"NO!" screeched the smoke woman. “HE MUST DIE!"
Twilight wasn't sure what to do. He just numbly stood there, tears running down his face.
"I don't want to go back." said Helvetica. “I never felt like I belonged in my world. If I stay with you, in Medelnino, we can be guides, who guide lost or confused creatures to wherever they need to go. We can help it function as a bridge, like it was meant to." Helvetica wiped Twilight's tears away.
Twilight smiled slightly. "Do you think that's possible?" he asked.
Helvetica kissed him again. "If there's one thing thing I've learned through this, it's that anything is possible."
Twilight smiled. For the first time, an actual smile. Not a sad smile, not an almost smile, just a regular, human, smile.
The smoke woman began to fade away. “I can finally die.”she said, with no further explanation. And then she was gone. Chapter 29: Home
They weren't scared. Maybe they had overcome their fears, or maybe the world just simply wasn't as dangerous anymore.
Twilight and Helvetica stood and waited for the train to come, and, soon enough. it emerged straight out of the glass ocean and headed straight for them, it's mouth wide open and ready to take them in.
"Here we go." Helvetica said to Twilight as they were swallowed by the train.
Inside the train was the same room they were in before- but put back together to the way it was before the VIXIs destroyed it.
Sitting there was Beluga and the two VIXI they had met on the train.
Twilight was surprised to realize that he was not frightened by the presence of the VIXI. Strangely they made no move towards them, in fact the VIXI seemed a little fearful of them! He and Helvetica sat down opposite from them.
"We're sorry." Both VIXI groveled in unison. "We didn't know you're related to the Kirinirikki.... please, spare us!”
"Why did you pursue him all this time?" Helvetica demanded. What did you think he was?" The VIXIs looked more nervous and fearful, licking their paws and faces with their tongues.
The tan VIXI said, "After you appeared, things became unstable. Many of us were trapped in that place along with you and couldn't go home. We didn't know why you were here, just that once you appeared, this place came to be and we were were unable to return home. We thought that if we caught you and killed you, things would go back to normal. If the Kirinirikki had allowed us to understand...." The VIXI paused and groveled even more at even mentioning the Kirinirikki. Clearly they greatly feared him.
Twilight smiled. "It's ok, just don't chase me around anymore." It felt strange to talk to a VIXI without fear, and even stranger to have VIXI grovel before you. But Twilight and Helvetica were happy to get used to it.
"Weren't we going back to our world?” Asked Beluga.
"I decided to stay." said Helvetica.
"Good!" said Beluga. "So you can keep petting me?"
Helvetica smiled. "Sure." She placed Beluga in her lap and stroked his matted chunks of fur.
Twilight and Helvetica told the story of everything that had happened to the two VIXI and Beluga. Soon after they were finished, the train landed back in Medelnino.
Twilight, Beluga, and Helvetica stepped out of the train and waved goodbye to the two VIXI. They were surprised to see what this universe had turned into.
A small, old looking house stood before them. It was now the only house on the street, which was now a small stream. There were flowers and grass everywhere, surrounded by a wall of forest. The sky was still the strange color it was in the VIXI world, and there still was a train track. Twilight and Helvetica waded across the stream, carrying Beluga. They walked up to the house's door, on which there was a small sign that read: “You are safe now.” They opened the door and were even more surprised by how pleasant and inviting the interior was. The sun shone through the windows, the floors were clean and bright, the clutter had disappeared and was replaced by sprawling potted plants that bloomed with all kinds of strange flowers. It was no longer frightening, and much more consistent.
Helvetica hugged Twilight and Beluga. They felt overjoyed to be somewhere safe they could call home.
"I guess this is it-“ she smiled.“This is where it all starts.”